Will my Motorcycles Start Without Engine Oil?


Senior Man Fixing Vintage Motorcycle Engine

So you haven’t touched your bike in a few years, or maybe you’ve just purchased a new bike from the auction and before you’ve started it you’ve checked the engine oil only to see that it’s dry as a bone.

Whilst your motorcycle engine MIGHT start without engine oil. Please, don’t try and start it! Without any oil in an engine, it would damage your engine and might result in it seizing up.

Oil lubricates moving metal parts by reducing friction and wear. It also forms a seal against the spinning metal, stopping the metal from coming into contact with other surrounding materials. Without any oil in an engine, it would seize up immediately.

What happens to a motorcycle engine in the absence of oil?

When there is no oil in an engine then the parts begin to come into contact with each other at high speeds. It’s only a matter of seconds before the engine will before inequitable damage has been made.

The video clip below shows an example of what happens when you don’t use engine oil in your engine.

Explain more, what parts of my engine need oil to not be damaged?

Inside your engine is a centrifugal flywheel that spins along with the crankshaft at a high speed when the motorcycle is ridden and uses energy (kinetic motion) to keep itself spinning even without power applied to it through rotary motion (like a pulley). This flywheel is attached to one of several points on the crankshaft by means of a key (just a thin metal strip) that rides in a groove on the crankshaft. The other end of this key is anchored inside the flywheel and holds it high in the air while weight is disconnected from it. If you try to start your motorcycle, then there’s nothing forcing the key into the housing of the flywheel so all that kinetic energy will be released and go who knows where (aside from likely creating a safety hazard).

What should I do to start my motorcycle engine without oil?

Go get some engine oil! Trying to start the engine without engine oil is simply a horrible idea. Before you attempt to start the motorcycle engine, ensure you have some engine oil in it.

How do I know if my motorcycle has enough oil?

If the level of your engine oil is correct then you should be able to put a dipstick in the engine and pull it out. The dirt on the stick will show how much oil is in there. If there’s no oil visible on it at all, then you’ll need some more!

How do I add oil to my motorcycle engine?

Step 1: Purchase engine oil

If there is no oil in the engine then you’ll need to get some before your bike will start! Make sure you buy the correct grade of oil for your motorcycle as they’re not all compatible.

Step 2: Find your Engine Oil Cap

In order to add oil to the engine, you’re going to need access. To open up your motorcycle engine, locate the oil cap and twist it off of the bike (it’s usually located near where the petrol goes).

Step 3: Put the engine oil in my motorcycle engine

Once you’ve got some engine oil and found where to put it into your bike then carefully take your motorcycle to somewhere safe, like a garage or car park. A place with as little dust/dirt would be best. Place it on its stand (if any) and open up the filler cap so that you can pour the engine oil in. Fill until you see some dirt on your dipstick! You’ll need anywhere from about half a liter of oil to 2 or 3 depending on what sort of motorcycle you have.

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